Brussel Sprout and Bacon Salad

We went to Eden Court last month to listen to Ray Mears talk.  For those of you who don’t know him, Mears is a bush-craft expert with a TV programme which I’ve never actually seen.   In his show, apparently,  he goes to remote, inhospitable places and learns from locals how eat when you’ve got no food and make/find shelter when you’ve got no roof.  He was a pretty interesting guy to listen to.

Towards the end of the night Mears took questions from the audience.   Expecting an answer of “maggot stew”, “yak testicles” or “dung-beetle kebab”, a very excited young lad asked, “What’s the most awful thing you’ve ever eaten?”

“Brussel sprouts,” said Ray Mears.


Brussel Sprouts and Bacon Salad (adapted from The Flavour Thesaurus)

(for 1)

A very thick slice of country bread, torn into pieces

A big  handful of baby Brussel sprouts or normal ones halved

2 rashers of back bacon, chopped roughly

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 spring onions, chopped roughly

1 tspn balsalmic vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 190oC.  Add the sprouts and torn bread to a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.  Toss to coat.  Roast in the oven for 12 mins until bread is golden and sprouts are soft and coloured.
  • Meanwhile, add the bacon bits to a small hot frying pan with a tiny amount of oil.  Cook until crispy then add the garlic and spring onions.  Cook for another couple of minutes then remove from pan.  Add the vinegar, a splash of water and some pepper to the frying pan and let bubble for a moment.
  • Mix the sprouts, bread, bacon etc in a bowl and dress with the juices from the pan.


13 thoughts on “Brussel Sprout and Bacon Salad

  1. Well, Ray has clearly only ever eaten badly cooked sprouts… (As, I suspect, have so many other people.)

    Me, I love ’em. Shredded and fried, or with chestnuts, or – like this – with bacon. Yay for the sprout!

  2. Ray Mears has just gone up in my estimation (already high). I can just about cope with the ones that are still in the stalk as they seem a bit sweeter, but every other one I’ve ever had tasted like droppings from Beelzebub’s rabbit.

  3. As a sprout, cabbage , brocolli , kale lover , I definitely like the sound of this !
    Overcooked , slimy and bitter sprouts have put generations of children off them . But it’d be well worth serving this to non-fans . Might make some converts . Though maybe not a man who loves witchety grubs and warty-looking “finds”.

  4. I was in total agreement with Mears on this one, limiting myself to two sprouts on Christmas Day only. But then I tried them with bacon and then with chestnuts and I’ve been a convert ever since. I’m amazed to find myself looking at this salad and thinking that I’d love it!

  5. Pingback: Bacon, Brussel Sprouts and Bananas « ladybug beauty

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